Later today people will undoubtedly be lined up outside Sprint locations waiting for the doors to open so they can purchase the HTC Evo 4G. It seems like a pretty sweet phone: 1GHz Snapdragon processor, Android 2.1, 8 megapixel camera capable of recording 720p video and front facing 1.3 megapixel camera for video chat, HDMI out & a 4.3″ screen.
It’ll cost you $199 with a 2-year contract after a $100 mail-in-rebate. You have to pay a mandatory premium data fee of $10 a month. If you’re planning on using the phone as a mobile hotspot that’s going to run you another $29.99 a month on top of your plan price. You can check here to see if 4G is available in your area.
Now that you know all of that, check out the reviews under the cut.
The Evo a beautiful slab. Being the biggest, fastest and strongest—and boastfully so—is a rare trait, marginalized by the Apple-born-but-increasingly-popular mantra that guts don’t matter, or at least that you shouldn’t talk about them; that the experience should come out of a magical black box. The Evo is HTC’s response to that. It’s pure guts.
The calculus for deciding if you want this phone is relatively simple: If you want the biggest, brawniest, most ridiculously muscular phone you can buy, it’s the Evo. Just don’t forget to top off the power before going into work.
++ WiMax, in a phone! Weeeeeeeeeee.
+ A beautiful screen that’s the size of a rugby field
+ Sprint’s 3G network
+ An unabashed celebration of steroidal specs
= The camera’s great…in daylight
- It’s massive, like a squished carbon fiber brick
- Miserable battery life
- You’re gonna wait a long time for fresh Android updates
Let’s clear the air right away: The Evo 4G isn’t the second coming. It’s not the iPhone slayer. It might not even be the best Android phone available to date. But it is a solid phone with amazing hardware running the consumer-friendly HTC Sense Android release. That’s a good thing.
It’s a shame that EVO 4G has such a big deal breaker. I loved this phone. I wanted to marry it, take it to Hawaii and make lots of babies with it. But that’s not going to happen. Its really short battery life outweighs all the EVO 4G’s killer feature. It doesn’t matter how awesome it is to browse the Internet on a 4.3-inch screen or do front-facing video calls if the phone’s battery can’t make it through the day.
- Huge and beautiful screen
- Very thin and fits well in a pocket
- As fast and beautiful as a Ferrari
- Horrible battery life
- Terrible battery life
- Really, really bad battery life
The new Sprint HTC EVO sports some of the nicest hardware you can find on any mobile device on the market and boasts some of the burliest specs we’ve ever seen in a phone (4G finally!). What’s more, it’s just drop-dead gorgeous; the kind of thing that compels others to ask about it when you take it out of your pocket.
Overall, we loved this phone. The hardware is smart and well-appointed, the interface is pleasant and straightforward, and it just plain worked. In short, it felt like a call from the future; one not dropped by AT&T.
WIRED Fantastic camera. Blazing fast internet. More connection options than Grand Central Station. Slick user interface easy for novices, yet allows power users to get their nerd on. Dead-simple tethering. Touchscreen keyboard offers ample space, even for fat-fingered types. Seamless connection with social networks gives it an old-friend feel right out of box.
TIRED 4G coverage spottier than an oil-stained Louisiana beach. Odd dimness issues with display. Android cut/copy/paste so poor you’d do better rekeying. Battery life shorter than Verne Troyer.
The good: The HTC Evo 4G delivered respectable 4G speeds, and the mobile hot-spot feature lets you connect up to eight devices. The smartphone has a front-facing camera for video chats and also comes with an 8-megapixel camera with HD-video-recording capabilities. The Evo ships with YouTube’s HQ video player, Android 2.1 with HTC Sense, and an HDMI port. Other highlights include an extra-large 4.3-inch touch screen and a 1GHz Snapdragon processor.
The bad: Sprint’s 4G network is limited at this time, making the mandatory $10 premium data add-on tough to swallow for anyone outside of the coverage area. The Evo lacks support for Bluetooth voice-activated dialing. Battery drains quickly with 4G.
The bottom line: The HTC Evo 4G is easily Sprint’s best smartphone and one of today’s top Android devices. It also shows the promise of 4G, which will grow as Sprint’s WiMax network expands, but until there’s broader 4G coverage, it’s hard to agree with the mandatory premium data add-on fee.
Engadget (There’s a video that goes with this review, but it is LONG)
Let us be crystal clear: we love this phone. Nay, we adore it. But the fact remains that it’s still very much an Android device — which means that if you don’t like Android now, odds are good that even Android executed on the most amazing hardware to date won’t do much to change your opinion of it. You’ve also got to be concerned about upgradeability; Froyo is almost certainly around the corner now, and HTC hasn’t done anything to suggest it’s able to push Sense-powered updates in a timely fashion.
That said, this is truly one of the best smartphones ever made, and even spotty 4G — a reality of a young technology that’s going to take years to properly build out — probably won’t do much to hamper your enjoyment of this thing. It’s reasonable to assume that phones like the EVO will ultimately come to every carrier over the next few months… but hey, if you jumped ship for Sprint to pick up this monster, we wouldn’t be able to blame you.
OVERALL THEME: Very awesome, fast phone that will leave you wanting if you don’t live in a 4G market. The impending release of Froyo (Android 2.2) could leave you behind for a while. And you’re going to want to carry around a spare battery or two.